endosQ
Information for Patients

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Some patients find it helpful to learn more about their conditions, and the treatments and tests that are available to them. We’ve included information about your visit to endosQ as well as details on tests and gastroenterological conditions.

About Our Service

Can I book an appointment for my child?

Our expert Gastroenterologists are trained to provide care for adults. Although there are no Gastroenterologists for children in Mackay, they do exist in Brisbane. Generally, we can see children over the age of 14 years. You can contact us for information about the services we offer.

Where will I see my Gastroenterologist?

The Gastroenterologists at endosQ see patients in both outpatient and inpatient settings. This means you can see your Gastroenterologist, by coming in for an appointment (this is referred to as an outpatient appointment), or during your stay in hospital when under the care of another specialist, (you are then referred to as an inpatient). Some people have an outpatient appointment first and then later they come in for an overnight stay. All our Gastroenterologists are experts that have completed specialist training. This means you will see an expert doctor whatever type of appointment you have with us.

Do I need a referral?

Yes. To obtain a rebate from Medicare you will require a current referral. Referrals most commonly come from a GP or specialist. It is the patient’s responsibility to obtain a referral.

How long does my referral last?

Referrals from a GP will last for 12 months. Referrals from a specialist will last for 3 months.

Can I claim on my private health insurance for my consultation in the Gastroenterologist’s rooms?

No, it is an outpatient service. Your health fund only covers for inpatient services or day admission stays.

What are the fees involved with having a procedure?

The hospital account will be payable on the day of your procedure. If you have private health insurance, please confirm with your health insurer that you are covered as a private patient and you are covered for the specific procedure. If you are covered under your private health insurance, you will need to pay your hospital excess on the day of your procedure. If you do not have private health insurance, please contact the rooms for the costs involved with your procedure.

Is payment required on the day of my procedure?

For all patients, payment is required the day before your procedure. Please phone endosQ on 1800 363 677 to arrange payment. Payments for the hospital and anaesthetist will be required on the day of your procedure.

What if I need to cancel my procedure?

We understand that sometimes things come up that are outside of your control. Please contact the rooms as soon as possible to arrange another suitable time for your procedure.

What if I need to cancel my consultation?

We don’t mind if you have to cancel an appointment, but we would ask if you could please call or email endosQ at your earliest convenience to cancel or reschedule your consultation as this appointment can be utilised by another patient.

How much time do I need to take off work after my procedure?

You will have been given intravenous sedation. You must not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery for 24 hours. You should not sign any legal documents or make major decisions or care for children for at least 12 hours after your procedure.

Can I get a medical certificate?

Yes. Please phone the office to request a medical certificate. It will be available for collection on the day of your procedure.

How will I feel after the procedure? Will I need someone to drive me home?

After your procedure you may experience mild bloating and crampy wind pains or minor bleeding from the bowel, however, these are rare.

You must have a responsible adult escort you home and stay with you overnight. You must not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery for 24 hours, or sign any legal documents, make major decisions or care for children for at least 12 hours after your procedure.

How do I obtain the results following my procedure?

Your Gastroenterologist will speak with you about your results immediately after your procedure. Your referring doctor will also receive a copy of your results. If further discussions or appointments need to be made for follow up with the Gastroenterologist, one of our staff will contact you to organise a follow-up appointment.

I need to consume clear liquids before my procedure. What constitutes clear liquid?

Any liquid you can see through. This includes water, light-coloured Gatorade (yellow/orange), lemon or lime cordial, apple juice, jelly (not red or purple), black tea or coffee, and clear soups or broths.

Gastroenterology

What is a Gastroenterologist?

At endosQ, all our medical doctors are Gastroenterologists. A Gastroenterologist is a medical doctor with extensive specialist training in looking after gastrointestinal diseases. Their specialist training means they can help patients who have problems that affect their liver, pancreas or bowel stomach, intestine and colon).  They are also dedicated experts at gastroscopy and colonoscopy. In other words, a Gastroenterologist helps patients with problems that affect their human gastrointestinal tract.

The different areas of the bowel have different functions. For example, the section around your mouth helps you to digest food. Other sections of the bowel help you absorb nutrients from food. Other sections help get rid of wastes from your body. Gastroenterologists specialise in all of this.

This means that a Gastroenterologist can help you with any problems that you may have with your digestive system. Your digestive system includes the bits of the body that help you digest your food and liquids.

Gastroenterologists also undergo extensive and lengthy training in techniques designed to allow your bowel to be examined. These include gastroscopy, colonoscopy and small bowel capsule endoscopy.

Is there any difference between a Gastroenterologist and an internal medical doctor or general surgeon?

An internal medical doctor is similar to a Gastroenterologist. The difference is that a Gastroenterologist has specialised in gastroenterology, which means extra study and expertise within that area. A Gastroenterologist is sometimes referred to as an internal medical doctor or an internal medical physician. A “physician” is a type of doctor. Other types for example include surgeons, and obstetricians. Gastroenterologists are different to general surgeons in that the latter operate on the bowel. Equally, gastroenterologists train specifically in recognising diseases of the bowel and specialise in endoscopic procedures.

What does a Gastroenterologist do?

When you see a Gastroenterologist, they will review why you have been referred to see them, and then work out what’s wrong with you through making what’s called a diagnosis. A diagnosis involves speaking to you, examining you and sometimes ordering other tests to work out what your problem might be. 

In order for a diagnosis to be made you need to be referred to a Gastroenterologist, by your GP or another specialist. Once you have been referred, you can contact us to make an appointment. When you see your Gastroenterologist, they will make their diagnosis and then suggest how best to treat you.

Your treatment might involve several steps and aspects. They may suggest treatment with a dietician, by changing your lifestyle or with medications. A Gastroenterologist may also need to do perform a procedure to help diagnose and or treat you. The most common procedures that might be used are either a gastroscopy or a colonoscopy (both are types of endoscopies).

If you wish to find out more about gastroenterology and other aspects of your treatment you may like to look at our helpful resources page. Alternatively, you may wish to find out more information about certain topics that are relevant to you.

Endoscopy

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a procedure to allow doctors to look inside the body. A gastroscopy is an endoscopy where a Gastroenterologist looks inside the stomach, while a colonoscopy is an endoscopy which allows us to look inside the colon.

Put simply, an endoscopy is a procedure to examine and inspect the insides of your body organs. An endoscopy is one of the most common procedures that Gastroenterologists use with patients, because it can both help diagnose and also treat you.

What happens during an endoscopy?

During an endoscopy your Gastroenterologist will use special equipment (called an endoscope) and techniques to look inside your body to treat or diagnose you.

We will look at what’s happening inside your body on a screen. We will also take sample biopsies or pictures of what we see. We do this to work out how best to help you. This information forms part of your patient record and this information is strictly confidential. Our records have multiple levels of security.

What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a piece of equipment that includes a long, thin tube, which has a light and a powerful camera at one end. The endoscope allows the pictures from inside your body to be viewed on our screen. The long, thin tube is made of a flexible material. We only use high-quality equipment at endosQ. Although it sounds quite invasive, endoscopy is considered a minimally invasive procedure.

How will I feel during an endoscopy?

At endosQ we will talk you through what your endoscopy experience will be like. We will make sure that you experience as little discomfort as possible. We will also provide you with specialist guidance and information that will help you cope during and after the procedure.

Once your GP refers you to us and once it is clear that you require an endoscopy, we will provide you with special resources. We will support you in the lead-up to your procedure, and during and after your endoscopy has taken place. 

We appreciate that many patients want to know what to expect and many have questions about what will happen. We will devote the time to your care to make sure you understand what is involved and are aware of what will happen and when it will happen.

Why can’t I just have an x-ray or some other procedure?

An endoscopy is useful when other types of procedures aren’t helpful. For example, they help when x-rays and other scans don’t. Our Gastroenterologists will generally not recommend having an endoscopy if they believe there is a safer and less invasive way of diagnosing your condition. Gastroenterologists have completed specialist training on top of their basic medical training. This means our Gastroenterologist s are highly trained experts and qualified to work out when an endoscopy will be useful for you and when it is best to use another procedure.

If we think that a Gastroenterologist can’t help you, we will let you know. Letting you know this will help save you time and concern, and it will help you get the care that will help you in the shortest time possible.

If we assess that you will benefit from some other type of procedure, we will let you know and refer you on in consultation with your GP so that you get the best treatment and care that is possible.

When will I need to have an endoscopy?

Endoscopies are useful in helping us to work out what your problem is and how best to treat it. Endoscopies are helpful in working out what to do if you have problems with how your insides work. For example, an endoscopy might help if you have: irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, diarrhoea, internal bleeding, incontinence and when looking for bowel cancer. We will work with you to make sure the right procedure is used at the right time in order to provide you with the best care possible.

Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a test where a Gastroenterologist looks at the inner lining of your large intestine. Your large intestine is mostly made up of two sections. It is made up of your colon and your rectum. A colonoscopy is used to help work out the best way to treat you.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

During a colonoscopy your doctors will use a thin, (generally about 1cm in diameter) flexible tube to look at your colon. This tube is called a colonoscope. During a colonoscopy your doctor may also take a sample of your bowel ( a tiny biopsy) to work out what is affecting you. This is called taking a biopsy. If there are any other abnormalities (such as polyps which can lead to more serious problems such as bowel cancer) these may need to be removed from your body. This is not uncommon and if this is relevant to you, we will explain more about this when you come to see us.

What is a colonoscope?

The thin, flexible tube that your doctor will use to look inside your colon or rectum is called a colonoscope.

Why can’t I just have an x-ray or some other procedure?

A colonoscopy is a test that allows to examine the inside lining of the colon or rectum.  An x-ray does not allow this. This is one of the reasons why a colonoscopy might be used rather than an x-ray.

When will I need to have a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a useful way to both investigate what’s happening and to also treat what might be wrong. For example, a colonoscopy might help if you have a bowel disease or if you are at risk of developing a problem. A common reason for performing this may be if your family has a history of bowel cancer or polyps. A colonoscopy might also help if you have pain in your stomach or if you have experienced some sort of change in your bowel habit or if you have rectal bleeding.

Our staff and Gastroenterologists will discuss why you might benefit from a colonoscopy. They will also help prepare you for this test and they will support you through the procedure.

What happens after the procedure depends on the results of the test. Our Gastroenterologists will generally come and speak with you immediately after your colonoscopy has been performed. For some patients it’s most helpful to discuss the results of the test with their GP while for others you will benefit from speaking again to your Gastroenterologist. We will make sure that you know what the next step is for you.

Capsule Endoscopy

What is a capsule endoscopy?

Understanding what happens during a capsule endoscopy is useful for many patients. An endoscopy involves looking inside your body to see what is happening. The difference between a regular endoscopy and a capsule endoscopy is that with a capsule endoscopy a camera is placed in a capsule that you swallow, to help us take a look inside. With a regular endoscopy a thin, flexible tube is inserted inside your body to see what is happening in order to help diagnose and treat you.

What happens during capsule endoscopy?

Before you come in for a capsule endoscopy you will need to follow a clear liquid diet for a period of time, and also drink some bowel cleaning preparation – so that pictures can be taken of the inside lining of your bowel. You don’t need as much bowel preparation for this procedure as you do for a colonoscopy. When you come in for a capsule endoscopy, we will first place a belt around your lower tummy. This has within it a number of antenna, which will capture the images sent wirelessly to it from the camera within the capsule. The captured images are then recorded on a “data pack” which is a small device worn over your shoulder. The pictures are then formatted into a film, which will be reviewed on a computer at a later date. The pictures are taken at a remarkably fast rate by this little camera so that we can have a detailed look at what is happening inside your body.

Once you are ready for the procedure to begin and once the equipment is ready to use, you will be asked to swallow a capsule. The camera is located in this capsule. The camera capsule isn't very large – much the same size as a big vitamin tablet.  For most people, it is relatively easy to swallow. Once you have swallowed it, unless you are in hospital for some other reason you will be allowed to return home or go back to work.

Usually, the entire procedure takes about 12 to 14 hours or when the capsule is flushed out of your body into the toilet after you have had a bowel movement. We will let you know how long it should take and what to do once the procedure has finished and what to do if your body takes an unusually long time to flush the capsule out of your system. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether the capsule has finished looking at the entire small bowel until we look at the recorded images (unless the patient sees the camera in the toilet bowel early).

Once the procedure has been completed you can take the belt and data recorder off. You then place it back in a provided bag and return it all to us the following day. There is no need to retrieve the capsule. This can be flushed down the toilet.

Crohn’s Disease

What is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and even malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn's disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people.

The inflammation caused by Crohn's disease often filters deep into the layers of the affected bowel. Crohn's disease can be both painful and debilitating. Sadly, it can lead to life-threatening complications for some. 

Unfortunately, there's isn't a cure for Crohn's disease (yet). The good news is though that therapies can put the disease in remission (that is not cure it but does return your bowel to health while taking the therapies). Therapies may bring about long-term remission. With treatment, many people with Crohn's disease are able to return to full health and return to a normal life. This means that many people who live with Crohn's disease that also receive therapies are able to function well and the impact of the disease on their life is managed and negated.